Like all children, Annelise loves to listen to stories about how she came into this world. Except in her case, some of those early details are a bit fuzzy, there are things we just don't know so there are a few blanks we can't fill in for her. We've always been upfront and open about her adoption and how she came to us (or how we came to her), but I'm learning that she is starting to process things a little differently now that she's getting older.
Last night, in between mouthfuls of spaghetti and meatballs while we were eating dinner at Zio's, she out of the blue (like usual) asked us to tell her a Russia story. So Scott and I started retelling the one about our first official day with her, each sharing snippets in some sort of misty adoptive parent tag team way.
I piped up in between bites of my Shrimp Limone that Daddy and I had to get her dressed from diaper, several layers of clothes, to snowsuit and shoes while the nannies in the orphanage watched us and I'm fairly positive ridiculed us in rapid fire Russian as clueless new parents. Everything that morning seemed to happen in a weird, unexplainable combination of supersonic speed and extra slow motion at the same time. The nannies stripped Annelise down to bare nekkidness in approximately 5 seconds, she, of course, burst out crying on the changing table. My nerves were in overdrive as I fumbled in my I'm a New Momma Diaper bag for a diaper and the clothes we brought for her and Scott and I both tried to get a diaper on her. I felt like I was on a Russian version of Candid Camera.
Yes, it took two. We got better.
We've told Annelise that story before many times, but for some reason last night she connected with the word orphanage. I was rambling merrily along when she stopped me with an important question.
"Wait a minute! You mean I was an orphan?"
Now that she's six and thanks to her recent recital where one of the songs was "It's a Hard Knock Life" from Annie she's obviously much more in tune with what it means to be an orphan.
Her brain clicked.
She looked at me with a mixture of disbelief and comprehension.
I looked back at her with my heart hurting at the fact that yes, the beautiful, spunky, smart six year old sitting next to me with spaghetti sauce on her chin was technically an orphan for the first 13 months of her life. And now she knows what that means.
I nodded slightly.
Scott and I continued to look at her across the table for what seemed like hours, but was only a few seconds, waiting expectantly, to see if she was going to burst out crying or something. My brain swirled wondering what I should say, how much to say, do we need to go to counseling?
She took another bite of spaghetti, swallowed, and asked us to tell her about the time she threw up on me.
I'll take that as a no for counseling.